John was surrounded by his loving family when he went to be with the Lord after having fought complications of Leukemia. He was the son of Peter and Mary Connolly of County Cavan and County Monaghan, Ireland.
John was raised in Manchester, England and was very proud of his Irish heritage. At 28, he immigrated to New York with his brother Peter. The two of them worked their way west until they found Santa Barbara. In 1965 John returned to England to marry the love of his life and wife of 52 years - Yvonne. They came back to Santa Barbara where they created a life together.
As a painting contractor, his first job was painting the Cold Springs bridge, known to the family as the, "John Connolly bridge." He was also known for painting rocket launch towers at Vandenberg AFB. Having an entrepreneurial spirit, John went into Real Estate Development and Acquisition. After many successful years he retired and turned the business over to his wife and eldest son, Sean. John valued hard work and often worked long hours. His life epitomized the American Dream; a true rags to riches legacy. He was known to all as a true gentleman, kind, smart, funny and gracious. There wasn't anything he wouldn't do to help others, especially family, to get their start here in SB. He enjoyed traveling with his wife and visiting family "back home" in England and Ireland as often as possible. He was known for his infamous wink, thumbs up, and saying, "Just keep on plugging!"
John will be lovingly remembered by his wife, Yvonne, and his siblings: Kevin, Mary (UK) and Tony; his 4 children: Sean (Karin) Connolly, Joanne Curley (Dallas, TX), Kathleen Connolly McKinney, Brendan (Antonia) Connolly. The pride and joy of his life were his 9 grandchildren: Nicholas, Kennedy (Dallas, TX), Robert, Katherine, John, Zoey, Ashley, Brady and Jude.
Special thanks to his wonderful doctors: Mukul Gupta MD, Julie Taguchi MD, Dr. Nguyen, and the absolutely amazing ICU nurses who cared for him in Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital MICU. The Connolly family would also like to thank family and friends who prayed for John and continue to do so.